Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice
I am pleased to announce the publication of the Violence against Women, Domestic abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) - Annual Progress Report 2020-2021. It is a requirement of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 that Welsh Ministers must publish a progress report in respect of each financial year.
This report covers the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. While previous annual progress reports have specifically addressed progress against the objectives set out in the National Strategy on VAWDASV, it must be acknowledged that the time period of this report spans the course of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This report therefore rightly looks back at the work of Welsh Government, in partnership with the specialist sector, over the reporting period to support victims and survivors during this challenging time. It also highlights the continuing steps being taken to achieve the objectives set out in our National Strategy.
My thanks must be given to the VAWDASV sector and specialist services for their response and continued support to victims during the pandemic. They have been a crucial lifeline to many and have shown an extraordinary ability to adapt.
Over 2020-2021, we provided significant new funding to the sector, with more than £4 million of additional funding made available to deal with the impact of COVID-19. It has allowed vital services to continue and to deal with the increasing demand caused by the pandemic.
However, the pandemic is not yet over and work must continue to address the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
VAWDASV is also at the forefront of the public conscience following recent high profile cases. The subject of male violence is being debated and discussed as well as the need to tackle misogyny and gender inequality as the root cause of VAWDASV.
We have always been clear about our ambition to end violence against women and girls and our focus remains on doing so. Building on the work of the last year, we will continue to take action towards fulfilling our ambition to make Wales the safest place in Europe to be a woman.